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  • Writer's pictureSquare One Inspections

Mold in your home?

Maine mold testing.

Nearly every Maine home has mold. Mold spores are outside, particularly in forested areas and areas of your property that may not get much direct sunlight. Spores will find their way inside through normal entryways, windows, etc. When fed by moisture, warmth, and a variety of food sources (most construction materials), indoor mold can grow to the point of being a health hazard for the home's occupants.

Indoor mold vs outdoor mold

Most commonly, black mold (stachybotrys) has a negative health effect on people when it accumulates. Some people react to this mold in small quantities and some are much less sensitive. This is not common forest mold, but mold that grows due to a moisture problem within your home. Most often, this excess moisture is coming in through the roof, window/door frames, plumbing (bathrooms and kitchen) or basement. Excess moisture combined with the heat of your living space may lead to black mold. Its common for the black mold to go undetected as it usually accumulates in small, tight spaces where moisture cannot easily dry. We find a lot of mold during home inspections as we know what to look for and will inspect areas of the home the homeowner rarely (if ever) sees.

Common reasons for black mold:

- Water in the basement:

- Water leaking into the basement through cracks

- Leaking bulkhead

- General humidity

- Leaks near windows/doors and rot behind exterior steps leading to the front door

- Bath fans venting directly into attic:

- Most common discovery of mold during a home inspection...hands down

- Allowed under pre-1990s code

- Fan should vent to the outside, not towards the outside - most vent covers block 75% of air flow and return moisture to the attic

- Water leaks:

- Minor leaks around plumbing (mostly in basement) accumulate to get drywall and wood wet and never have a chance to dry

- Condensation dripping from pipes need foam pipe insulation to minimize issues

- Bathrooms:

- Bath fans aren't just to remove bad odors

- Using a properly vented bath fan will remove high moisture air from a typically small room

- Leaks below sinks often go undetected due to accumulated personal items

If worried about any of the above or see a mold-like substance in your home, its best to have it tested. Sometimes what appears to be mold is accumulated dirt or even candle soot.

To Schedule a Mold Investigation and Sampling, Click HERE

Mold Testing Methods

- Mold Investigation:

- Required to identify high-moisture areas, hopefully before mold has developed

- Visual inspection, in addition to moisture meters and thermal imaging

- Should be completed in conjunction with any mold sampling to identify a solution, not just confirm a mold problem

- Mold in Air Samples:

- Using a properly calibrated air sampling machine, air is pulled through a sterile cassette for a set period of time.

- The cassette is sent to a mold testing lab to determine types of mold found and quantities.

- A control sampling is taken outside to determine common environmental mold around the home, for comparison.

- Mold Surface Samples

- When discovering a mold-like area, use of a tape-lift to collect a sample for analysis

To Schedule a Mold Investigation and Sampling, Click HERE

Mold can be a serious health concern for many and should not be taken lightly. As always, if feeling ill, speak with your doctor.

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